Galapagos giant tortoises on volcano rim

Galapagos giant tortoises on volcano rim

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galapagos giant tortoises (Geochelone nigra vandenburghi) waking at dawn after sleeping in volcanically heated thermal pools where they have kept warm overnight at altitude. This allows them to start grazing earlier in the day. The pools are found on the rim of the Alcedo volcano on the Isabela island of the Galapagos archipelago. Local vegetation is poisoned by volcanic minerals in the soil. Alcedo is the site of successful efforts to remove invasive introduced species (principally goats) which threaten the stable ecology of the caldera and the long-term future of the Galapagos giant tortoises.

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Keywords: adapted, alcedo, animal, biological, biology, cold blooded, conservation, dawn, day, ecological, ecology, endothermic, endothermy, evolutionary adaptation, fauna, galapagos giant tortoise, geochelone nigra vandenburghi, herpetology, isabela, nature, no-one, nobody, reptile, sunrise, thermoregulation, volcanic, volcano, waking, waking up, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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